Keywords: international environmental treaties, environmental pollution, air pollution, transition economies, economic growth, environmental quality
The impact of economic growth and international environmental treaties on the environment in transition economies
Environmental quality and economic development are often thought to be causally linked. This paper empirically examines the impact of economic growth and international environmental treaties on air pollution emissions in several transition countries using panel data analysis. The results indicate that economic growth, proxied by the conventional input factors of production, total labour force and gross fixed capital formation, increases the level of local air pollution in transition economies. The joint effect of the environmental treaties appears to significantly affect the level of both local and global pollution. With the exception of the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, none of the other international environmental agreements seem to be correlated with the level of air pollutants in the region of the transition economies. Finally, there is evidence of a statistically significant downward time trend in the level of local air pollution emissions.